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Complete Forgiveness in Christ

11 You were also circumcised in him with a circumcision not done with hands, by putting off the body of flesh, in the circumcision of Christ, 12 when you were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 And when you were dead in trespasses and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, he made you alive with him and forgave us all our trespasses. (Colossians 2:11-13)


After writing about the fullness of Christ within believers, Paul goes deeper in explaining how believers are full by showing how their salvation is complete, seen in verses 11 to 15. Paul uses two metaphors to explain this: circumcision and baptism. The function of these metaphors is to show how it is God’s work exclusively that saves people and not of human action.


Circumcision was instituted by God to have a physical marker to show the Jewish people they were set apart and would adhere to His covenant. Unfortunately, many just focused on the ritual aspect of it and neglected the relational aspect with Yahweh, as seen in Deuteronomy 30:16, “For I am commanding you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commands, statutes, and ordinances, so that you may live and multiply, and the Lord your God may bless you in the land you are entering to possess.” So, when a believer accepts Christ as their Savior, they are entered into a relationship with Him and are transformed, leaving the past sinful life, a “circumcision not done with hands, by putting off the body of flesh, in the circumcision of Christ.” They are now set apart to do Christ’s will.


After believers accept Christ, they are then to follow the ordinance of baptism, a physical act to show to everyone that they are taking this step out in faith to boldly proclaim they are a follower of Jesus. This is shown in the act of baptism, going under the water to signify the old dying away, being “buried,” and rising out of the water to signify new life as Christ was resurrected, “raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.”


Christ called the believers while they were still “dead in trespasses and in the uncircumcision of your flesh.” We were dead, unable to save ourselves, completely helpless and subject to the Father’s judgment. But, it is all because of Christ that He “made you alive with Him and forgave us all our trespasses.” Not only were we brought to life, but the punishment that we deserved was wiped away; the debt had been paid. Praise the Lord!


Blessings,

Isaac De Guzman

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